BA 2017, Management and LeadershipAthens, Greece
Alexandra graduated from Hellenic College in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Management and Leadership—and the promise of a wonderful future that she could never have dreamed of as a child. Born in Romania, she moved to Greece with her family when she was four years old. When she was 12, her mother gave birth to a son so premature that he was not expected to survive. Miraculously, he did, but with serious health issues that required long stays at Children’s Hospital in Boston every year.
When Alexandra was 15, she joined her mother and brother in Boston. “We hadn’t seen each other for a year,” she remembers. “My mom was staying at Philoxenia House, right on the campus, and the students would take her out sometimes, to give her a break. They were really nice to me too, and encouraged me to think about coming to Hellenic for college. From the beginning, I loved the atmosphere and it felt familiar because of the Orthodox elements. When the time came, I didn’t even think of applying to any other American colleges.”
“I can’t express how much I love this school,” she goes on to say. “I never felt like I belonged anywhere—not in Romania, not in Greece—but here, I finally did.” With high motivation and energy, Alexandra flourished right from the start at Hellenic. She combined her major in Management and Leadership with a minor in Human Development. She particularly loved a course on research methods with Dr. Asimina Lazaridou. “She told us about her research on patients with chronic pain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where she’s doing a post-doc, and I was really fascinated by that.”
Last year, Dr. Lazaridou asked Alexandra if she would like to be her intern. That unpaid internship led to a part-time paid position, three full days a week, which Alexandra held while carrying a full load of classes and serving as a student representative to the faculty. To her amazement, a paper based on the pain study appeared in a major medical journal with her name on it as a co-author—and the offer of a full-time job as Clinical Research Coordinator starting right after graduation.